My roommate and I keep getting entranced by the mushrooms at Berkeley Bowl. Seriously, every week, we go there to get our produce, checking things off our list, and we pass these dozens of different types of beautiful fresh mushrooms. And we can't get them every week, and they're not on our list. But they're there, and they're so beautiful, and they're mushrooms. So finally, I gave in to their siren call, and got some chanterelles. Then I compromised and also picked out some regular, but adorable, brown mushrooms. And I made soup. It's inspired by a non-vegan cream of wild mushroom soup recipe in Barefoot Contessa at Home, which my roommate got for Christmas. Except with lots of adjustments for vegan-ness, what I had on hand (lots of celery, no carrots) and the fact that the 3 cups of pre-sliced, pre-packaged white mushrooms I'd bought to fill out the soup a bit had actually gone bad, even though they were all safe and sound in their vacuum-packed abode. Which was really sad. (And one of the sadder aspects of buying from the Bowl, I guess.)
Also, I was really lucky when I made the broth for this soup, because my roommate had cooked with dried mushrooms the previous night. And there was a cup or two of the yummy mushroom water she'd hydrated the dried mushrooms in leftover. (As you can tell, we went a little mushroom-crazy in my apartment!) If you have this on hand, or mushroom stock, I recommend it, because I didn't have enough mushrooms stems to make this broth as mushroom-y as it would've been without my leftover mushroom water. Or just get extra mushrooms to use just for the broth. I probably wouldn't have had this problem if my pre-packaged mushrooms hadn't gone slimy before I could use them.
VEGAN CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP
10 or so ounces of fresh chanterelle mushrooms
10 or so ounces of fresh brown mushrooms
optional: extra mushrooms for the broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 - 6 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 chopped onion, white or yellow
1 celery stalk, chopped (and/or 1 carrot, chopped)
2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups chopped leeks
1/4 cup flour
1 cup white wine
1 cup soy creamer, other non-dairy creamer, or non-dairy milk
parsley to garnish
Separate the stems off the brown mushrooms and cut them off the chanterelles. Coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, for big pieces, cut them into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the mushrooms stems, half of the thyme, the onion, carrot, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook for 10 or 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, vegetable stock, or mushroom stock, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. When the broth is done, strain the veggies and mushroom stems out, reserving the liquid. You should have a little over 4 cups of liquid.
Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, heat the remaining butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat until the leeks soften and begin to get golden-brown, about 15 minutes or so. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom broth, the remaining thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and a 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the non-dairy dairy product, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.